My children seem to be existing on fresh air. Or, perhaps they are living on black olives, macaroni cheese (the big one), toast and bananas. Its a wonder they have the energy to run me ragged all the time, but they do.
Mealtimes are a battleground in this house and ALWAYS end in tears, sometimes mine but mostly always the baby’s. Last night they were the big one’s tears which led to my tears, but you don’t want to know about that.
The big one used to be a fairly good, if limited eater. Her favourite food is pasta and she especially loves spaghetti bolognaise.
We once caught her eating leftovers from the bin- thats how much she loves it! Before anyone thinks of calling social services, we stopped her, of course! But thats how much she used to love eating it… now its a battle just to get her to eat things she does like. I don’t think it has anything to do with body image (see my article for Mumable) and more to do with the baby…
The baby. The small bundle of joy that causes so much worry, anxiety, stress and tears. I worry constantly about this boy. He demands so much of my energy and my time and thats fine- he’s a baby after all. But he is one awkward little baby and our battle with eating has been going on for a long time.
When his reflux was really bad, I was advised to stop breastfeeding because he just wasn’t thriving. I had gone dairy free for weeks, was barely eating anything through stress, sleep deprivation and other issues. I was feeding him constantly day and night- he was then throwing it all up again. Lovely. So I gave him a bottle of formula and that was the beginning of the end. I found that I was living in a troubled world of expressing, feeding, topping up, expressing, feeding, topping up… So when our consultant told me that my baby needed to put on weight and I needed to stop breastfeeding, I sadly agreed. He did put on weight.
So we started weaning the baby at four months, under medical guidance. I still don’t know if this was the right thing to do (see my post on weaning) but we did it and it seemed to go well. He stopped screaming during his feeds and the food started to stay down a little better, admittedly with the help of domperidone, but still. He was gaining weight and he was happier.
I don’t know what happened after that. I can’t remember when he stopped eating, or enjoying eating. I can’t remember the last time he slept through the night properly- these days he gets so hungry that he wakes for milk most nights. I don’t know what it feels like to sit down for a meal and enjoy eating with my little family. The last time we went out for a meal, for my birthday, my husband ate standing up so that he could entertain the baby (who was screaming in protest at having food infront of him) and we were in and out within the hour. That’s fast spaghetti eating.
I can’t remember the last time I didn’t feel like such a useless failure each and every time we serve up a meal. My son just doesn’t want to eat and its really starting to get to me. So if there are any dinner fairies out there who are willing to wave their wands in my direction, I would be eternally grateful. Either that, or someone just come and make something that my baby wants to eat. Please, someone help!